Sam Champion and Al Roker, two popular weather forecasters, have lost their shows on The Weather Channel in a major shakeup that has the network shifting its focus back to its roots.
Champion, who was recruited from his high-profile post on ABC's "Good Morning America" to host "AMHQ" last year, will host his final show on Oct. 30, the New York Daily News
Longtime "Today" show weatherman Roker, who also hosted The Weather Channel's "Wake Up with Al," will host his final show on Oct. 2, said The Hollywood Reporter
Champion "will work to create regular prime-time shows that highlight the intersection of new technologies and weather," Weather Channe president Dave Shull said in a staff memo, according to the Daily News.
"In his new role, he will take the lead in expanding increased weather coverage into our prime-time schedule," Shull told Weather Channel staffers.
"Working closely with Nora Zimmett, Sam will create editorial content and host on-screen segments as we launch our new 'Local Now' product for OTT providers. His deep understanding of local television will be crucial in helping us build our network of local content with the major broadcast station groups," said Shull.
OTT (Over The Top) is a new service The Weather Channel is preparing to launch, said THR.
The Weather Channel is closing its New York studio, which Stull said had become "cost-prohibitive." The channel's morning shows from 5-10 a.m. will be produced instead out of the network's home base in Atlanta.
Stephanie Abrams, the co-host of "Wake Up with Al," will continue to be part of The Weather Channel's morning team, Stull said. Some 50 staffers will be cut because of the channel's reorganization.
The changes also mean trimming back original programming and lifestyles coverage while the channel turns back to its core live weather coverage, reported CNN Money
"We need to be really clear who we are," said Weather Channel chief executive officer David Kenny. "It's going to cost more money to do longer hours of live, so we have to be more efficient about it."
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